Discovering "Gentle and Kind"

I am still very amused by acupuncture and like visiting my mother's favorite Tai Chi teacher in San Francisco who has an acupucture office on Ocean St. At the end of our session I asked: "I am going to have a lot of time on my hands for the next 3 months, is there anything else you would recommend I do?"
He sat for a few moments in quiet reflection and then he lit up and said "Yes! There is something you can do - if you are open to it..." **My brain: Yes! give me something I can work really hard on during my trip and get better at**..."You should practice being gentle and kind to yourself" **Oh, what a load of crap. That is not helpful** "you probably already realize this is something you really need in your life" **..uh oh...**"and if you practice this it will allow some big shifts in your life and allow you to make some difficult decisions" I suppose its fitting that a wise Chinese acupucturist would give me a mission for my journey.

In the car on the way home: **What does that mean?. What does being Gentle and Kind to myself actually look like? I'm a nice person, but I don't want to be lazy and sit on the couch all the time and eat cookies...that would make me feel like crap. I suppose that makes sitting on the couch eating cookies NOT Gentle and Kind.
Hm. It seems like figuring this out could be a big deal...So I started asking myself the same question all the time.

Is this a Gentle and Kind way to be out in the cold? To put on snowshoes?  To walk up a mountain? To drive the car home? To eat dinner? To breathe?
Sometimes the answer is yes. But sometimes the answer is really No. And when it is No, can I bring myself to stop what I am doing at that moment? And should I? And how big of a change would that have on my life if I always did stop?

Is this a Gentle and Kind way to look out over Donner Lake? To help grandma through the snow for our family picture?

Is this a Gentle and Kind way to love my friends?
So, here I am, the morning I leave for Bangkok with a bonus mission of practicing Gentle Kindness.
The first act of kindness to myself and strangers I will be sharing public transportation with is to pack as lightly as possible. All te belongings I am taking on this 3 month voyage are the orange bag pictured at my socked feet. My bag weighed in at 17lbs and is ready to get in the ring.
With so much love to everyone!
Here I go.

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